What the Nose Knows

Smell detectives, laughing gas, and all the forces we cannot see

Courtesy University of Washington Press
Courtesy University of Washington Press


Melanie Kiechle introduces us to the 19th-century world of smell detectives, where the nose reigned supreme and cities mapped their stench patterns;  Sam Kean tells how gases can have a profound effect on us—from knocking us out to making us laugh, and even causing the French Revolution. Plus, top off our exploration into the sensory world of invisible forces with an excerpt from a new book on all the light we cannot see.

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Tune in every two weeks to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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